Activists sentenced for abandoning property, driving in national wildlife refuge


Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge [Photo from US Fish and Wildlife Service]

TUCSON —  Four members of the open border organization, No More Deaths, received unsupervised probation and small fines Friday after pleading guilty to engaging in illegal activity on the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.

Zaachila Isabel Orozco-McCormick, Natalie Renee Hoffman, Oona Meagan Holcomb, and Madeline Abbe Huse were each sentenced to 15 months of unsupervised probation, fined $250, and banned from the refuge during their probation for entering a national wildlife refuge without a permit and abandoning personal property.

Hoffman was also convicted of operating a motor vehicle in a wilderness area, said a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officers in the wildlife refuge near Ajo found a group of trespassers who were operating a motor vehicle in a protected wilderness area, said the release.

Hoffman confessed to driving the car into the wilderness area, and all the defendants admitted to entering the refuge without a permit and leaving a stash of water and canned food at Charlie Bell Well.

After a three-day bench trial, the court found the defendants guilty Jan. 18 on all charges.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anna Wright and Nathaniel Walters, District of Arizona, Tucson, were the prosecutors in the case.

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth A. Strange said she commended the Fish and Wildlife Service officers for their commitment to preserving the national wildlife refuges and that her office will continue to bring charges against those who commit violations on federal lands.



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